Saturday, 5 June 2010

Moth Trapping in my Redesdale Garden

It's a great pleasure to report on my first night's moth trapping in my garden here at Curlew Corner in Redesdale.

I've thought long and hard about buying a moth trap and, in the end, the decision was taken entirely out of my hands thanks to the limitless generosity of my dear friend Harold Dobson who, when he read about the trap, offered to buy it for me as a joint birthday and Christmas present this year. It's certainly a precious and much appreciated gift.

The trap is a Gladiator made by Paul Batty of Sheffield (whose contact details are included in the link). I can thoroughly recommend Paul to you if you are thinking of buying a trap. His advice and customer support is second to none and the Gladiator is a small miracle of simplicity and inventive design. Here it is working in my garden last night, complete with its rain guard ...


And before I move on to the moths, one other person needs to be thanked. Stewart Sexton, the Boulmer Birder, has received and responded to all of my questions and concerns about moth trapping with great patience and his excellent advice and encouragement helped me decide to go ahead with this new interest.

The slogan for moth trappers could well be build it and they will come (with apologies to the writers of Field of Dreams for substituting 'He' with 'they'). That's all I had to do: plug the trap into a timer and leave it to switch itself off at 3.30am while I was asleep and dreaming about moths ... at least I should have been asleep but the child-like excitement of having already captured an Elephant Hawkmoth before I went to bed rather kept me awake. This was one of my wish-list species so you might imagine how excited I was ...

Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila elpenor)

Altogether I trapped about thirty different species, many of which were micro moths, or certainly very small macro moths, which I've not been able to identify. Here are three more of the macro moths trapped; more in the next post ...

Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum)

Brimstone (Opisthograptis luteolaria)

Spectacle (Abrostola tripartita)

9 comments:

Wilma said...

You are off to a wonderful start, Emma! Beautiful photographs of your catch. The elephant hawk moth is gorgeous.

ADRIAN said...

Emma superb photographs. This really looks like good fun. They are beautiful wee beasts.

Emma Anderson said...

Thanks Adrian and Wilma. Yes, it's great fun - as Stewart Sexton (the Boulmer Birder) says: "a bit like starting birding all over again". There is such a lot to learn though and I was so excited with my first catch that I didn't sleep much. And the neighbours came around too to visit the Elephant Hawkmoth. They had found a caterpillar last year so I hoped the moths were about. Watch this space - there'll be more to come.

holdingmoments said...

I can feel your excitement here Emma.
There are some stunning moths we never get to see, and now they are soon to be available to you.
Great pictures so far, from your moth trap. Looks a great piece of kit too.

Phil said...

Hi Emma, Seeing your success, I'm sorely tempted to invest in a moth trap. It's time I learned to identify more than the few that I'm familiar with....

kirstallcreatures said...

Emma how fantastic! What a wonderful gift from your friend. I can imagine how difficult it must have been to get to sleep having already captured an Elephant Hawkmoth, they're so beautiful. I look forward to reading more about your moth findings over the weeks ahead. Best wishes, Linda

Emma Anderson said...

Thanks Keith: I'm so glad to see you back and blogging again. Hope the future's looking brighter for you;

Thanks Phil: I can thoroughly recommend Paul Batty if you are interested in buying a trap;

Thanks Linda: A wonderful gift and I'm sure there'll be more great moths to come.

Davy T. said...

Fantastic Photos Emma, im jealous as hell. I would love a moth trap.

Keep them photos coming.

Holywell Birder said...

I think you've swayed me Emma:) Great Photographs.